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Religious Image of Hijab-Wearing Woman on U.S. Government Car Draws Removal Demands

( [email protected] ) Aug 31, 2016 07:31 PM EDT
An Oklahoman man demanded that a "religious" image of a woman wearing a hijab, or Muslim veil, be removed from a local library vehicle because he asserts the graphic promotes Islam and the Muslim faith on U.S. public property.
An Oklahoman man is demanding a “religious” image of a woman wearing a hijab, or Muslim veil, be removed from a local library vehicle due to the graphic promoting Islam and the Muslim faith on U.S. public property. Pioneer Library System

An Oklahoman man demanded that a "religious" image of a woman wearing a hijab, or Muslim veil, be removed from a local library vehicle because he asserts the graphic promotes Islam and the Muslim faith on U.S. public property.

"I see a public vehicle that is paid for by the taxpayer's money that displays a picture of a lady in Islamic attire," Chad Grensky told KFOR.

Grensky said his complaint has nothing to do with Islam or being against any peaceful religion, while assuring others he also is not racist. "What I have a problem with, is we can't put a nun on the side of that car because she's wearing a head garment," Grensky said. "We have to remove 'In God We Trust' from our police cars."

Grensky registered his grievance to the Pioneer Library System, where Breitbart reported that staff administrators were surprised because they never had a complaint like this before. The library system reportedly has images of various people of different ages and races posing with a book with the words "good things coming my way" on their vehicles.

"We don't believe that image (of the woman identified in Grensky's request) is promoting a religion. We think it is expressing a culture," said Anne Masters, director of the Pioneer Library System, to KFOR.

"If Pioneer Public Library, Norman Public Library wants to display someone of faith, the way to do that is to do all faiths," Grensky said.

KFOR reported they sent the picture to the American Civil Liberties Union, whose executive director said he did not see a problem with the image. He said showing someone in their religions attire does not necessarily violate the constitution.

This situation is not the first time the debate about separation of church and state has arisen in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Supreme Court asked for the removal of a monument of the 10 Commandments on Oklahoma state capitol grounds because it violated the state's constitution that bans the promotion of religion on public property.

Article 2, section 5 of the Oklahoma State Constitution reads:  "No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such."

 

 

Tags : religion, First Amendment, separation of church and state, Oklahoma News, Pioneer Library System, U.S. Constitution, Religious Expression, hijab, Islam, Muslim faith